On an overcast afternoon at Red Bull Arena the media came to see the newest signing of the New York Red Bulls and of course their third Designated Player that they signed to improve the club. Mexican International Defender & Midfielder Rafael Marquez walked out of the tunnel and waiting for him on the field was President of Red Bull Soccer Dietmar Beiersdorfer, RBNY’s Sporting Director Erik Soler, Head Coach Hans Backe, & Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber.
Once again the jersey and scarf presentation for new signings and this time it was given to Marquez in the middle of the field. All the photographers snapped their cameras and of course MLS Talk will have videos from the day later in the week. “Rafael has shown on the club and international level that he is one of the world’s top players,” Said Beiesdorfer. “He has been a winner at all levels and illustrated that he is a leader both on and off the field. We are thrilled that he decided to come to the Red Bulls at this time in his career.”
The plan for the Red Bulls when Backe started this season was a flat 4-4-2 and so far it has worked well, but now with such a quality player like Marquez joining the club there will be some tactical changes as Backe would like to change the midfield into a Diamond shape so Marquez can not only give the killer pass when they are on the offense, but when the central defenders needs some cover he can help them out on the defensive side of the ball. The transfer window is still open till Sunday, August 15th and Sporting Director Erik Soler is still not satisfied. He continues to see if he can tinker with the club by making some trades inside MLS as the possibility of another International signing won’t happen. The ITC cards and work permits takes a bit of time and that’s something Soler doesn’t have time for.
But for Marquez, he is very happy to be here in the New York City tri-state area and it showed during the photo ops & the press conference. “I am excited to be joining the Red Bulls, “Marquez said. “Coming to New York and playing in Major League Soccer was a chance that I could not refuse. I am committed to doing my best to help the Red Bulls in their playoff push this year and compete for the championships in the years to come.” After 94 caps with the Mexican National Team and winning four La Liga Titles, a Copa Del Rey title and two UEFA Champions League titles, he will definitely be a big help to the club and possibly start the charge into a playoff position in the east. But once they get into the playoffs, everything is up for grabs and we shall see if this club can sustain it past this season.
This is what the Designated Player rule was suppose to be about. Bringing in big names players and making the league exciting & fun. Not every club within MLS has done it yet or has done it, but hasn’t found a new player to bring in. But once everything falls into place, each and every side will have an international superstar to support and let’s hope that will make Major League Soccer stronger and better.